Dancers: How to Do a Clean Leap

By Cassandra Pagliaruli

Although a dancer may think they're doing a perfect leap there are usually some corrections that can be made. They may need to straighten their back leg a little more, or their hips might not be squared off correctly. But a clean and beautiful leap is possible!  Here are some tips and reminders:

  • Stretch. The first thing you should do before attempting a leap is to stretch.  Stretching will help increase your flexibility to create that “split” in the air. If your keep up with stretching, you will also find it easier to be able to maintain your split.
  • Do your jumps and glissades.  Jumps and glissades help you gauge the amount of space you'll need when you are up in the air. By doing this, you will get a feel for the amount of pressure you'll need to put into the floor in order to jump, and consistently stay in the air.
  • Practice battements.  Ballet barre work such as practicing battements is a great way to get ready for a leap.

  • Point your toes.  The second your feet come off the floor in a leap, they must be pointed! Also make sure to align the foot with the ankle. This will prevent you from inverting your foot.
  • Turn out. The hips should remain squared and tight so they don't open. This allows you more control when coming back down to the floor.  
  • Engage the core. It is also essential that you hold your core while dancing. Leg strength is important, but so is being able to hold your core so you don't fall or lose balance.

By keeping these tips in mind and with some extra practice, a clean leap will soon be effortless!